One day back in early 2005, when Kevin and I were taking meetings with potential clients prior to launching ourselves into the world of corporate video production with YourFilm, we found ourselves being cut short by a marketing manager who said:
“Can I just ask – you’ve mentioned video a lot, but instead of a video, is it possible we could have the finished film on a DVD?”
It took me by surprise. Of course we were talking about DVD. VHS was long-since dead, and it simply never occurred to me that anyone would assume we’d deliver our corporate videos, on, well, VIDEO.
This meeting took place sometime around March 2005, and although we didn’t know it at the time, the world had changed roughly a month beforehand. YouTube launched on February 14th 2005, and although the fledgling platform was of interest, we certainly didn’t realise then just how much it would come to dominate our profession as the primary viewing platform.
Growing our business in tandem with theirs (spoiler alert: YouTube won the head to head, they’re bigger than us) has been interesting. When we refreshed our brand in 2006, we made a point of saying in our web copy that “if you have your own website, you have your own TV channel.” Perhaps crudely worded, but I’m still pleased that we’ve been evangelising online video for arguably as long as it’s been recognised as legitimate content, in what was historically a broadcast world.
YouTube’s technical capabilities have gone from 320x240 frame sizes in 2005 all the way to 4K and 3D playback in 2013, and it’s now a standard feature on internet-enabled TVs, Blu-ray players, games consoles and smart phones. Similarly, the technical barriers to entry we faced launching YourFilm in 2005 were already much lower than even 5 years previously, and now we deliver video fit for any playback device, in pretty much any format.
Technical leaps and bounds, the proliferation of online video channels, the market dominance of smart phones, 4G networks, on-demand viewing, sharing content via social media… all of these factors have fundamentally changed the business landscape that we stepped into 8 years ago.
Now, we’re unlikely to make ‘a corporate video,’ we’re instead more likely to produce a series of videos, because the audience demands content tailored to their interests, and because, frankly, attention spans have shortened. The sheer volume of online video – and truly, video lives online now – means that more than ever before we have to keep our content short, sharp, engaging and relevant.
Video is also being used in more ways than ever before. Our meeting with the marketing manager in 2005 centred around production of a DVD which could be sent out as a piece of direct mail. Now our content is posted front-and-centre on client homepages, used in email campaigns, uploaded to branded YouTube channels, spread across social channels, embedded in blog posts…
What’s more, the type of video that engages an audience has changed. In-app video, animated explainers, CGI-enhanced visuals, multi-language options – all are now simply expected by the audience.
YourFilm’s mission has always been to work out what the client really needs, then over-deliver on their brief. Over the past year, clients have increasingly required us to produce animated or part live-action/part animated content. The demand for visual flair, in everything we produce, is ever-increasing too. We have pushed ourselves and our extended team to deliver, and I believe that client feedback and new business proves the quality of our work. But as we look ahead to what is already shaping up to be our biggest year, we’ve decided to make some changes.
We’re delighted to have brought on board Gavin Randall and Ben Cameron. Gavin is an award-winning director, producer and editor. Ben is a talented 3D artist and illustrator. They will work alongside our Creative Director Kevin Owens, with the remit of continual improvement both creatively and technically. The addition of Ben, in particular, pushes our technical capabilities into areas we’ve not previously been able to work in, namely 3D animation.
We’ve restructured our core team to be able to better serve our clients. We want to burnish our reputation for strong ideas and creative visuals, and to continue to advance our abilities to produce content which falls outside the boundaries of traditional corporate video. Projects such as this animated explainer for Atlas Cloud... this TV advert for Frank's the Flooring Store... this documentary-style promo content for Ignite100... or this animated promo to launch the Playlists.net iOS app.
We’re passionate about the power of video, and excited to continue working with clients who appreciate what video can do for them. The world of video has changed beyond recognition since we launched YourFilm. We will play our part in the next evolution.